Monday, April 25, 2011
Now to get on to more sewing before I have this baby!!
Sunday, April 24, 2011
And went on an Easter Hunt together!
So, according to my wonderful husband, filing all the paperwork is not 'decluttering' because it's already in a neat pile. I will never understand the logic of men sometimes (sorry Chris ;)) In my defence, I filed this huge pile of paperwork AND cleaned out the filing cabinet at the same time! I hate filing paperwork with a passion (and I suspect I'm not the only one). This pile has been building up for probably a year and it was well and truly time to do something about it.
The first job was to sort the pile into paperwork to shred and paperwork to file. I stacked all the similar things into piles and then put them into date order, ready to go into the filing cabinet. Luckily I'd tidied the bench for our Easter lunch and it wasn't covered by all my craft stuff.
I ended up with a huge pile of paperwork to shred! This pile is just the beginning as I ended up adding more to it. Luckily I had willing helpers to help me shred the paper. We put most of the shredded paperwork into the recycling bin but we also used a bit of it in the worm farm, now that's recycling!
I'll have to look at getting more of our bills electronically in the future (we do already get some this way) as doing all this has made me realise just how much paper is used and wasted!
Thursday, April 21, 2011
I've been busy making a felt lunch for a special little boy's 2nd birthday these past few days. I came across this great sandwich pattern from another blog which I used to make the sandwich and all the things in it (meat, cheese, lettuce, tomato and bread) and then used my pattern from umecraft to make the felt banana. The paper bag was my own creation although didn't really require a lot of skill to make ;)
I hope the little boy in question likes it!
Monday, April 18, 2011
Lots of lovely links to Easter ideas today. It seems like most people are on holidays, so here are lots of things to read and do with kids.
- Deb from Science@home looked at the calendar and the Timing of Easter.
- Marita from Stuff With Thing has been creating Easter Bonnets from items sourced at the Op Shop. She’s trying to teach her girls that recycled items are best and create Easter Bonnets that can be used in years to come.
- Monique at Your Cheeky Monkey found out why Hot Cross Buns are special, and some easy instructions to make your own Easter Gift Tags.
- Nurturing Forests is wondering about the debate about the celebration of Easter in Long Day Care.
- Narelle at A Bunch of Keys shares a kid-friendly craft activity – how to make an Easter chicken using the kid’s hand prints.
- She also has the most gorgeous Batik eggs, given my kids’ love of candles we’ll be doing these ones.
- Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now has links to lots of Montessori-inspired Easter activities for home or school.
- To make a change from all the lovely decorated eggs, the Science@home girls dissolved egg shells and made Bouncy Eggs.
- Jeannezoo at Zella Said Purple has Easter with a twist – an art/science project with 4s/5s to “study baskets and anything that carries anything else”. We research items, make lists of features, then design our own “carrier” using paper, tape, cardboard, rope, paint…voila! An Egg Collector Basket for Easter
- Catherine from Adventures with Kids has hints for a great Easter egg hunt, whether it’s for a party or your traditional family celebration.
- Another kid-friendly one from A Bunch of Keys, wheat is a sign of new life at Easter. This kids planted wheat in some old egg shells to make ‘egg heads.’
- And a final Easter Basket idea at Science@home, making them from handmade paper and embedding seeds to be planted after the festivities are over.
Now you have more than enough to do leading up to Easter, have a great holiday!
Sunday, April 17, 2011
I cleared out everything from under the stairs to start with, throwing out all of the toys/other bits that were broken or not of any use anymore and then sorted out what toys I wanted to keep, sell or giveaway. I vacumed and cleaned the area (thankfully I didn't find any mice!) I put back the toys that we will still use. I ended up with only about 1/4 of the amount of toys that we had in the first place so I was quite happy with that.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
We put some cotton wool into the egg shells and then sprayed the cotton wool to make it moist.
Lots of fun for the kids to do and very easy! We're all looking forward to watching the wheat grow and seeing our egg heads.
Friday, April 15, 2011
Here's how to make them:
STEP 1: Prepare the dye
To make the dye I mixed 3/4 cup warm water, 1 tbsp of vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon food dye. I made four different colours: yellow, red, green and blue. The colours are achieved by dipping the egg in a succession of different coloured dyes.
STEP 2: Drip melted wax onto the egg
Put a few drips of wax onto your egg. You can choose whether to drip dots of wax on the egg or just let it run wherever. The two eggs on the left in the first picture are made by dripping wax onto the egg (although not very successful attempts given my candle was a bit too thick!) while the other two were made by letting the wax run wherever. Remember that you will be putting more wax on to make different coloured patches as you go along so you don't need too much wax for the first layer.
STEP 3: Dip the egg into the dye
After the first layer of wax is on dip the egg into the dye. You will need to leave it in there for awhile and move it around slowly to allow the dye to penetrate. I usually start with yellow and then move to darker colours as I go on (this is the bit where you end up with interesting coloured fingers as you can see!)
STEP 4: Repeat the process
Once you have done the first layer repeat with more wax drips leaving the previous wax on. Dip the egg into the next dye colour (I chose red). Repeat the process with the wax and dye until you have used all the colours or you are happy with the colour (the more colours you dye the more coloured patches you will get).
STEP 5: Remove the wax
Once you are happy with how the egg looks you can remove the wax. This can be done by gently picking the wax off (be careful though as it can scratch the dye and leave marks). For bits that are hard to get off you can hold over the candle flame until melted and gently rub into the egg (this leaves a nice polished coating on the egg too)
This is a fun activity to do but it does take a lot of time. It took me a couple of hours to do these four eggs. Jacob and Esme were very interested in watching it to start with but it didn't take them long to get bored! Kids will also require close supervision when you are doing this activity.
Monday, April 11, 2011
With Easter coming up soon, what better thing to make than a chicken? This also ties in with our farm theme. The kids had a great time with this activity. They especially loved having their hands traced around to make the wings and combs and gluing the feathers on to decorate their chicken.
What you will need:
White, red and orange cardboard
How to make it:
Cut out a big circle and a small circle from the white cardboard.
Trace around kid's hands - once on the red cardboard and twice on the white cardboard. Cut out.
Cut out legs and beak from the orange cardboard. Cut out piece for above the beak from red cardboard.
Glue the two circles together. Glue red hand print on top for comb and white hand prints on sides for the wings. Glue legs and face bits on.
Glue feathers on body.
Esme proudly displays her chicken - look at all those different coloured feathers!
Esme was very taken with her finished chicken. It's actually still in one piece so I think that just shows how much she likes it ;)
Today is a day of remembering. It is the due date of our second little angel. I actually feel quite positive about today although there is a tinge of sadness mixed with that. This due date is so different to the due date of our first little angel (in August last year). Last time I was in the early stages of pregnancy and faced with uncertainty that the pregnancy was going to continue.
This time around, I am pregnant again but a lot further along. I know the baby I am carrying is healthy and growing well which makes the passing of this date a lot easier. Of course, I always wonder about what might have been but I'm ok with the way things have turned out.
I also feel that in some ways the baby I lost is letting me know that everything will be ok. An interesting 'coincidence' occurred the other day which led me to think this. I hadn't been in touch with my midwife for awhile and when I rang her she told me that she had made an appointment for me but hadn't told me when it was. Then she told me it was the 11th of April - today. So I got to hear this baby's heartbeat today and to talk about about the new life I am growing, instead of focusing on what I don't have right now.
To remember this day and the two babies I lost, Chris and I made an angel. I have hung it our bedroom and like to think that the spirits of my two babies are looking down on me. The beads I used for the angel are swarovski beads so when the light shines through them they make beautiful patterns on the walls. The two big beads on the angel's halo represent the birthstone colours for the months that our babies were due.
The two babies I lost will always have a place in my heart. But I'm happy now to look to the future.
Sunday, April 10, 2011
My first project has been to sort out my sewing/craft stash. My sewing/craft items to date have been stored in various places: in a wooden chest in our cupboard, a chest of plastic drawers in our room, the empty cot (oops...) None of the stuff was stored in any particular order. I tend to just throw things somewhere when I've finished a sewing project too so it was a HUGE mess. I wish I'd taken photos beforehand and when I was sorting it out so you could see what I mean! I literally had a mountain of material to sort through!
I bought some big underbed storage tubs and sorted all my sewing/craft stuff into these tubs. I threw out scraps of material that were too small to do anything with and other odd and ends that weren't useful. I weeded out material I didn't like or didn't think I'd use, as well as other things that I had doubles of and put them in a bag for the op shop. I made some great discoveries as well - I discovered I had lots of nappy making supplies left over from my last (disastrous) attempt to make nappies. I'm a more experienced sewer now though so hoping to use some of these supplies to make nappies for this baby ;)
Everything was sorted into four tubs. Tub #1 includes: nappy making supplies and other odd bits of material that are still useful. Tub #2 includes: all my good material.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Recently though, I was faced with a situation that was particularly confronting for me. A couple of weeks ago our group ran a Breastfeeding Education Class. I led the group, along with a fellow trainee. Our classes haven't been very full lately and on this particular day there was only one couple (funnily enough, I actually knew the Mother although hadn't had much to do with her in recent years). They were a lovely couple. So keen and passionate about giving their baby the best start by breastfeeding. It was a pleasure to talk to them about breastfeeding. During the course of the class we also talked about the upcoming birth and how their preparations for the new baby were coming along. They were excited and ready for their baby to arrive. They only had a few weeks to go.
Last weekend I received a message from a mutual friend. Their baby had died at 39 weeks. I read the message with total disbelief. My friend didn't know details of what had happened and I still do not know. But I cannot imagine how absolutely heart wrenching this must be for them. I just wanted to cry for them. I still do.
How do you pick up the pieces of your life and carry on after this sort of loss?
How do you deal with growing a baby for 39 weeks, to get to know it intimately, and then have to deal with losing it?
How do you ever get through another pregnancy after something like this has happened?
This was their first baby. They would have had so many dreams and wishes for this baby. Instead they are faced with empty arms. I don't know what to do. I only have distant connections with this couple so don't feel that it is appropriate for me to even send a message. I just want them to know that I am here, crying a river of tears for them. To let them know that their baby will never be forgotten.
It has also made me realise, even more so, how truly precious each little baby is. What a miracle of life they are. And I am savouring every little kick the baby in my tummy makes right now.
This is what Esme usually looks like after she's been playing in the back yard! I love that my kids enjoy playing outside so much (although I do usually insist they wear their puddlesuits if they're going to dig in the dirt ;))